Sunday, July 14, 2013

The pipeline to nowhere

I came across this amazing piece in the Bloomberg Businessweek on the latest Keystone XL developments. It details how the pipeline's environmental review and permitting process is riddled with conflicts of interest, of individuals as well as corporations involved in it. It also appears that the exact route of the pipeline is so super stealth secret that NOBODY can know it, including the reviewers. You read that right. It makes me pause, curse and wonder - if there isn't even a third party available to independently verify that whatever projects is being built, isn't the whole process just a facade? Who is available to make sure that permits for projects like this are in the best interest of the citizens, the country, the planet? I'm afraid of the answer to that question.

Photo/cartoon credit goes to POLITICO's Matt Wuerker

Of course, as usual, you'll wonder 'what the heck can I possibly do about this?'.

If nothing else, send this petition to President Obama to make good on the promises in his climate speech.

But if you are ready to rise as the temperature of this planet does? Join Summer Heat, a summer of actions organized by and others. This is not KXL specific, but rather a wide-reaching network of local actions. This movement is growing in momentum and in numbers. Here in MA, the goal is to shut down the largest coal plant in the Northeast. Look up what they have got planned in your state!

Another group I have come to greatly admire are the Tar Sands Blockade at Depending on just how involved you want to get, there are some very direct opportunities...  but you can also just send them money or coffee. I have followed this brave group for a while now (subscribe to their facebook feed!). If you have an hour, watch the movie! It's slow at times, but heart wrenching and worth the time. It features Dr. Jill Stein of Lexington, MA, and the Green Party's presidential candidate in 2012.
It is through this group that I have come to see that when Texas landowners stand in solidarity with tree-hugging activists, the common ground between those two groups has got to be worth defending. The heart-wrenching stories they told of generations-old farms and vineyards being torn down to make room for the pipeline, in blatant abuse of eminent domain, will stay with me for a very long time, as yet another example of how social justice is one and the same as environmental and climate justice.

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